On Saturday, I was fortunate to have the opening on the first draft of my current project read by a great bunch of actors. It was great to hear the characters I have spent the past few months imagining, coming to life.
In my last blog post, I was talking about the issues I had with this script. I felt detached from it. I had worried if this was down to the fact that I am working in a new medium. This is my first feature film script. Writing for a visual medium feels odd to me. Dialogue should be subtler and most importantly, I have had to force myself to be stricter with my structure, and because I am often an impulsive person, I found it difficult to push myself in that direction. That said; I have always known that structure is where I struggle. I love writing dialogue; often I can do that until the cows come home. I enjoy playing around with metaphor and motifs. I’m probably not as subtle as I imagine at times. But I still enjoy it- and I often think that if I enjoy, it comes through onto the page. But structure is what I am scared of the most! It is a major reason for me wanting to do the MA course; to get over my fear of the structure beast. Inability to develop my ideas structurally might be my fatal flaw! I had worried that my detachment from the script would show through, and the twenty-two pages that were performed would seem weak.
I think that my fears were unfounded. Generally I think that it was successful. The feedback I received was very positive and reassuring on the whole. The balance of dialogue seemed to work well,as too did the atmosphere and the imagery I used worked. I need to work on my female characters (I had already suspected this, and knew that their scenes were the weakest). On the whole I am pleased. The struggle against a different writing technique may have paid off. Hopefully now I will return to working on this project with renewed confidence.
So, in my quest to overcome my fatal flaw I have maybe just inadvertently won my first battle. My more structured approach (albeit still not 100%) had made a far more cohesive script. I’d imagine that there will be another bigger battle that I will have to fight later in this script…I will have to recall this first battle against Structure and his evil minions…only then will I slay the beast.
The next step for me will be to really pin down where and how the film will pan out. I know the outcomes, and know some of the ways they will get there, but my ideas are morphing all the time. I have introduced the characters and the themes, but I have set-up enough. It is time to work out one-hundred percent how it will all play out, before I write another word of script.